Happy summer Supporters of Crow’s Gambit!

After talking to several of you last week as the ASEE conference I know there is some confusion on the book. Never fear we did meet the required Pre-Orders for Quill publishing. However, actually getting a book from draft form to your hands takes some time. And given my schedule lately it is taking even more time.

Right now we are in the phase called Developmental Editing. That means I am rewriting some portions of the story to make it flow better…and hopefully make it super exciting and interesting! I will be working with a developmental editor who will help make the story even better by offering lots of suggestions for improvement.

After that we go to Copy Editing and Line Editing with Inkshares. This process will clean up the actual words; making sure names are consistent, punctuation is used correctly, words are spelled correctly…you get the picture.

So, please be patient. The book has not disappeared. It is alive and well but it will take some time to get it into your hands.


Great news everyone. Thanks to tremendous support Crow’s Gambit has hit 251 Pre-Orders. That means it will get published under the Quill imprint!


There are still about 34 hours left in the campaign. That means there is still time to lock in some of those Pre-Order perks if you haven’t ordered yet (or you have a friend how hasn’t).

  • Crow Research Investor ($10) - Supporter will receive a copy of the Crow Research company Prospectus.
  • Crow Research Employee ($20) - Supporter will receive a copy of the Crow Research Employee Manual and the Prospectus.
  • Crow Works Access ($60) - Supporter will receive the Employee Manual, Prospectus, and an identification badge allowing access to the top secret Crow Works (you also get your name on the patron page of the book too).

Thank you everyone for helping make this happen. I will continue to keep you updated as we shift into full editing and production mode.

More will come...


Congratulations we have hit 220 Pre-Orders on Crow’s Gambit! I really (enormously) appreciate the support you have all provided.  But...when everything is said and done I still need 30 more Pre-Orders and there are only two days left in the campaign. 

I need some of you to purchase an additional copy of the book...soon...tonight if possible. Several of you have already purchased multiple copies of the book and I think you. Some of you haven’t purchased any yet. However, I’m betting there are at least 30 of you who will be willing to help me out. 

To help wet your appetite I’m including the following snippet from later in the book.

“Who are you?” she finally asked. 

“You can call me Mr. Smith.” She gave him a patronizing look. “You could also call me a dirty son of a bitch. I could really care less.” His smiling expression never shifted. “You could say I’m with the opposition.” 

“You mean the people who tried to have me killed? Two, three times now?” 

“It was actually four.” He turned and smiled broadly. “You might not have noticed one. Dale and Gloria are actually quite good.” He returned to watching the crowd. 

“And is that why you’re here now? Attempt five?” 

“No. My specialty isn’t in that area. It’s in negotiation. The previous attempts on your life were made by overzealous members of our group that I must apologize for. I believe the best course of action would have simply been to talk to you and explain what was at stake, instead of driving you into the arms of Darrow.” 

Happy weekend Supporters of Crow’s Gambit.

The good news is you should have just received a short narrative titled Prologue Version #2. Taking advice from some of the writers over at the Listeners of the Dead Robot Society I’m reworking my original info dump of a Prologue. This draft also gives a little bit of the background for one of the later characters in the story, Tish.

The bad news is we only have 4 days left in the campaign to get Quill publication of the story. If any of you haven’t committed to a Pre-Order yet or know someone who might I would really appreciate any help in getting to the 250 goal.

Thanks for all of your support.


Hello supporters of Crow’s Gambit!

Pre-Order now if you haven’t

We have passed the 200 mark and are within sight of the finish line. First, a big thank you to the GREAT SCIFI for the 21st CENTURY and BEYOND SYNDICATE which backed Crow’s Gambit this month.

What else has been going on you ask?

  • I’m using the AutoCrit package to slowly work through the draft and correct the more egregious aspects.
  • The story for the second book continues to be drafted. This is requiring a few "hooks" to be adjusted in Crow’s Gambit.
  • Once I have a little more time I plan to start laying out more timeline details of the events before Crow’s Gambit (i.e. worldbuilding).

We still have to get across that finish line though. If you haven’t made a Pre-Order yet now is the time when it would really help. If you know someone who might like the book, or maybe someone who just owes you $10, why not ask them to pick up a copy?

Push Crow’s Gambit over the finish line with a Pre-Order!

As always than you for your support.


Supporters of Crow’s Gambit...hmm, supporters sounds so formal...

If we used the poetic name for a group of crows would that make you the Murder of Crow’s Gambit? That’s definitely not what I’m going for. The Flock of Crow’s Gambit? Really, I don’t need a flock following me. The horde, hover, muster, or parcel of Crow’s Gambit?

Maybe we should look at synonyms for supporters instead. The Apologists of Crow’s Gambit? Noooo. The Crusaders of Crow’s Gambit? I don’t think there’s enough support here to really call this a "crusade" yet. Champions of Crow’s Gambit? Hmm...maybe.

Regardless thank you for helping make Crow’s Gambit a reality. However, we are not there yet. We need more crows. Please keep sharing information about the story and if you are fence sitting, come one...it’s the holidays. You know you want to give me a Pre-Order gift.

For those wondering if Santa made it past the Sylph...well, we don’t know. I have been feeling under the weather during the holidays and to be honest, no one voted. If there had been one vote cast either way I would have pushed something out. Guess we’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

Happy holidays!


Supporters of Crow’s Gambit the time has come. 

Everyone who has made a Pre-Order was just sent a survey link where you can help determine Santa’s fate. Does he get shot down by the alien Sylph? Or are his reindeer and sleigh somehow immune?

Voting is open until 5pm (Central) Wednesday Dec. 20th. Anyone who makes a Pre-Order during the next day will also receive the link and a chance to vote.


The end of the year is almost upon us. After some soul searching and consultation with readers and other Inkshares authors I have decided to extend the funding campaign once more. I appreciate those of you who have invested your money in Pre-Ordering the book and I want to assure you that I have devised a cunning strategy to get to the finish line. There are several activities already planned for the upcoming weeks that I hope you will find exciting. Starting with this.

Neil Larson is a former designer of space probes and now Peter Darrow’s right hand man at the Crow Works. He is often seen with a beer in his hand but the story never specifies what KIND of beer. One lucky reader will get to decide what Neil’s favorite is. But wait! That’s a tough decision and you may want to do some research. That’s why we will be raffling off two tickets to the Mankato Craft Beer Expo on Jan. 13th. Tickets to this event usually sell out. These are the Early Admission tickets with a combined value of $100.

Every ebook or print Pre-Order gets you one entry. When we hit 225 Pre-Orders we will hold the drawing. That means your odds are roughly the same (or better) than winning $100 on a $10 scratch off lottery ticket…and you get a book! Of course the more copies you and your friends order the better your chances. 


Santa needs your help!

When the alien Sylph arrived at Earth they eliminated all air and space travel. Now Christmas has arrived and the world waits nervously to find out what will happen to Santa. Will the reindeer be immune? Or will the Sylph weapons vaporize Santa and his sleigh?

I leave Santa’s fate in the hands of my readers. Next week everyone who has Pre-Ordered Crow’s Gambit will receive a chance to vote on what happens to Santa. A short story will be sent out to them on Christmas with the outcome.

Only those who have Pre-Ordered the book will be able to vote. Whether you are on the naughty list or the nice list you’ll want your voice to be heard.


Supporters of Crow’s Gambit I really need your help.

We are still running short of Pre-Orders and it would be great if you could help spread the word to your fellow Inkshares members, Facebook friends, and Twitter contacts. I know it’s a lot to ask so I’m giving you something in return. Below is Vignette #2 code named "Churchill". This is a snapshot into the occurrences of book two in the series, Crow’s Haven. Of course for the second book to happen I need to get Crow’s Gambit published...just sayin...

Vignette #2 (Churchill)

Captain Winslow studied the sonar display. The Churchill could have tracked the surface ship’s cavitation wave from the other side of the Atlantic if they needed to. It was screaming ‘here I am’ for anyone to hear. 

“Is that our target?” he asked the sailor on sonar duty. 

“Yes sir. There is a match with the vibration profile on record. The civilian transport Hermes. Registered to Darrow Shipping under U.S. flag.” 

“Are you absolutely positive son?” Winslow secretly hoped there was some doubt. 

“Positive. Its profile, course, and location are all an exact match. That’s her.” 

“Very well.” The Captain turned back to the rest of the Control Room with a sigh. “Deck officer, take us to battle stations. Stand by to launch UUVs.” 

The officer turned a quizzical face toward him. “Sir?” she asked. 

“Release the hounds Lieutenant.” 

The Lieutenant nodded and issued the orders. Several small unmanned underwater vehicles sped away from the Churchill and toward the surface craft. The Churchill was a Manta class hunter-killer submarine. Built for speed and standoff stealth. While her onboard weapons were substantial the real power was in the fleet of drones she could deploy. 

“Deploy in attack pattern beta Lieutenant.” 

“Attack pattern beta, yes sir.” The Lieutenant scrutinized the work of two sailors as they issued commands to the drones. “UUVs are in position sir.” 

“Very good. Sensor station do you have any other signals in the area? Anything else on the surface?” The Captain silently waited and prayed for divine intervention. 

“The surface is clear Captain. No other signals in the area.” 

Winslow’s shoulders slumped as he let out a large sigh. “Weapons officer, arm the UUVs and prepare to fire on the surface craft.” 

“Captain?” The Lieutenant frowned at him. 

He handed her the small printout he had been clutching in his fist for the last hour. “Our orders are to destroy the vessel Lieutenant.” 

“But sir, that’s a civilian vessel. There are over 300 passengers and crew on board.” 

“Ours is not to question why Lieutenant.” He gave her an understanding smile. “For what it’s worth I will make sure to note your concern in my log. Weapon’s officer on my mark.” The young sailor nodded uncertainly, his finger over the execute button. “Fire,” Winslow commanded. 

In the distance two of the drones accelerated and executed an inverted parabolic course intended to bring them up directly under the target. As they closed the distance their internal electronics automatically armed the detonators to their high yield H-9 explosives. The Weapon’s Officer counted down to impact. 


“Transients,” the signals officer suddenly called out. “Multiple fast movers!” 

Almost simultaneously the weapons officer chimed in. “We’ve lost contact with the UUVs.” 

“We’re getting wide bandwidth diffraction on EM and optical,” the Lieutenant reported. 

“Squid drones,” the Captain concluded. Small highly maneuverable drones that threw out clouds of sharp edged reflective particles that could confuse communications and sensing. If there was a school of squid drones out there then somewhere nearby there was an American Concord class fast attack submarine. And it had probably just watched them fire on the civilian vessel. 

“Helm, make our depth…” 

“New transients!” the signals office interrupted. “Pulse jet propulsors. Positive identification as Mark-72 torpedoes.” 

Yes, the Captain thought to himself. They had been watching. 

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